Which is Better: a Free or a Paid Background Check Service?Posted on: April 18, 2017 by Gavin Muirhead
Today, background checks are being used more than ever. Implemented mainly by employers, background checks are also used for online daters, and in the instance of purchasing guns. The use of background checks can be extremely helpful in order to verify information, despite some of the controversy surrounding the history of their levels of accuracy and methods of use by employers. Some of the information that may be included in a background check report, depending on what type of report is utilized, are: criminal records, status of citizenship, court records, academic and employment records, driving records, and credit history—just to name a few of the most common ones. It is also possible to inquire about an individual’s medical and mental health records. Some of this information may be more pertinent in various situations, and it may not be necessary to purchase a more in-depth background check.
Free vs paid
For an online dater, some of this information may be more beneficial than others, such as criminal and mental health records. For employers, there may be added components such as drug testing and physiological wellbeing testing. Although, one of the biggest grey areas when it comes to background checks is the cost: employers usually will have more room to invest in more thorough background checks, whereas individuals who, for example, are looking up an online love-interest may have less money to work with. In both instances, the use of a background check is an important step to take before moving forward with either process. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of using free services, versus paying for a background check service.
Employers should opt for paid service
Free background checks can be helpful; they are a viable resource in situations where nothing else can be afforded. However, when extensive detailed information is needed in such a report, especially for businesses, it is not the best choice. Employers should access information about a person’s criminal history, educational background, or sometimes medical and mental health history. When it comes to legalities and liability, it is always best to pay for a better, more thorough background check for prospective new employees. A free background check service will verify some of the individual’s application information, as well as provide some general information about the person; although, the reliability of these services is not always guaranteed, they are best for non-critical purposes—especially due to the fact that background checks can get expensive, depending upon the quantity and quality of information you are seeking.
Paid services means detailed information
There are other options that one can use in place of a free background check in order to obtain more detailed information. Some two of these options include: background check software or online resources. These will provide you with a far more detailed account of an individual’s background that would be best for legal purposes. Hiring a new employee comes with risks if the proper precautions are not taken. If an employer utilizes a free background check that did not screen for pertinent information for a new employee who later causes harm to another individual at work, the employer could be held liable for negligent hiring. This is one reason why it is critical that employers do not rely on free background check services. Furthermore, if the background check is being used for personal reasons, for instance, looking up information about an online dater, there may be information that could be left out.
Depending upon what information you need, you can also hire a company that specializes in background checks. A background check service such as this will cost a little bit more; however, there are companies that will only charge you for the specific information that you wish them to look into. If you decide to go with a specialized company, it is important that you do some research about that company first—be sure to choose a company with an excellent reputation. Again, this can become a legal issue later on if you do not do your due diligence as an informed consumer. Looking up online reviews and checking with the Better Business Bureau are two things you can do first to ensure that the company is reputable. Using a background check is a necessary safety precaution—and sometimes it’s better to pay for better quality.